Some months before the meeting, Alan and Alys Hayes had sent me some episodes of the radio series of
The Avengers, following their restoration of tapes recorded from the original South African
transmissions in the 1970s. Listening to these programmes for the first time, I was greatly impressed.
Despite the passing of time, I found in them fragments of my own past, which as with many Argentinians
of my age, had taken shape with the beginnings of television, when radio was still the most important
means of communication.
I received Eduardo's invitation at the time when the enthusiasm surrounding my "discovery" of the
radio series was at its height, so the first thing I thought was: wouldn't it be great to broadcast
these programmes again, after thirty years? Eduardo was very enthusiastic about the idea and it was
then that we decided to devote one of the four parts of this special broadcast of
La Guarida del Faro, to the radio series of The Avengers. Just imagine, an English
language radio programme pervading the night of Buenos Aires! By coincidence, thousands of kilometres
away, accepting our suggestion with great enthusiasm, Alan Hayes was specially recording an
introductory message - in Spanish! Not a Spanish language speaker, Alan demonstrated that not only is
he an excellent webmaster and researcher, but he also has a good ear for languages. Bravo, Alan!
Finally, the great day came - Friday 22nd November 2002.
La Guarida del Faro is transmitted each Friday for four hours, between two and six in the
morning. Eduardo, my son Natalio and I took the first two hours of the programme, and divided it
into four blocks in which we would discuss The Avengers in general and the radio series in
particular. For a night lover like me, staying awake was the smallest problem! At about three in the
morning we played Alan's greeting (
Listen to the
introduction and Alan's message - 535KB, MP3 Format) and after a brief
introduction, during which we told the story of the radio series in South
Africa and gave a few technical and cast details, we transmitted the first
of the chosen radio clips: the complete introduction of
Dial a Deadly Number. (
Listen to this
sequence - 341KB, MP3 Format)
Argentina has a long tradition of radio drama, but today it is practically no more. Both Eduardo and
I were sure that the broadcast of The Avengers radio clips would appeal to the audience,
bringing memories of radio drama flooding back to them - and we were not wrong! The first people to
be moved were the technical staff of the radio station, who made gestures of great satisfaction
through the glass that separates the studio from the console.
Listen to Carlos'
explanation of the radio series - 265KB, MP3 Format) A bit later, during the second
clip we played, the audience started phoning the programme to pass on their praise and share their
impressions. One of them said something like: "When something is done from the heart, it breaks all
barriers". Eduardo and I were so moved that we didn't know very well how to go on with the
programme. At the end of this block, the radio staff congratulated us for the quality of the chosen
material and the crazy idea of broadcasting an English language radio series in Buenos Aires.
Everybody was happy.
When we are trapped in our routine, our dreams and utopias tend to vanish as quickly as tears in
the rain. But after experiences like this one, one has to
believe that it is true that "when something is done from the heart it breaks all
barriers". Despite the language barrier, the transmission of just a few clips of
The Avengers radio series in Buenos Aires generated an emotional link with the audience,
awakening their sensitivity and making sense of what we call "the media". It was just for a brief
moment, of course. But, isn't it true that our emotional life is made precisely of these ephemeral
moments of intense connection?
After broadcasting some music fragments taken from the TV series, Natalio and I left the studio just
during the porteρo sunrise. The last thing we broadcast before leaving was
Mein Liebe, Mein Rose, from the television version of The Joker, and that adorable final
dialogue between Steed and Emma, special guests of this exclusive night:
Emma: "It's been quite a night!"
Steed: "Well, it's morning now. The fog's lifted. Let's get a breath of fresh air."
We couldn't have chosen a more suitable ending.
Translated by Flavia Lamborghini